Responsive Program Resident 2005, 2007, 2011, 2019
Originally from Germany, Martin is a Sydney-based choreographer and dancer. He started out as solo artist, acclaimed for his full-length solos fusing idiosyncratic movement and intimate storytelling. In recent years, Martin has also built a strong reputation as creator of group works and solos for others including Slow Dances For Fast Times (2013), The Little Black Dress Suite (2013) and Mountains Never Meet (2011). His Helpmann Award-nominated Anatomy of an Afternoon, which premiered at the Sydney Opera House in 2012 in the Sydney Festival, was recently presented with great success at Southbank Centre in London. His work has toured nationally in Australia and internationally to the UK, Japan and Brazil.
Fundamental to Martin’s movement practice is a detailed set of strategies and exercises—what he calls ‘parameter work’—that build the body’s sensory awareness through structured improvisation, providing a tool to reassess the body’s movement habits. These strategies have been developed to reflect his key choreographic concerns (such as corporeal fragmentation, the relationship of movement to stillness and the manipulation of the body by external forces), and have been applied by Martin to work with a diverse range of performers—from highly trained contemporary dancers to actors and untrained community performers. An experienced and valued teacher, Martin regularly facilitates workshops for a wide range of arts organisations and companies and has worked extensively as a consultant and dramaturg, and in mentoring emerging artists. He also frequently writes on dance for RealTime magazine.
‘As dancers, we are trained to perform extremely complex movement material and make it look effortless. It’s precisely our training, however, that sometimes makes us forget how powerful a simple gesture can be, or a moment of stillness, or a mere flick of an isolated body part.’